Long-term care is the type of care that you may need if you can no longer perform "activities of daily living" by yourself, such as eating, bathing or getting dressed. It also includes the kind of care you would need if you had a severe cognitive impairment like Alzheimer's disease.
If you, your spouse or family member were to need long term care, the cost could deplete more than your own hard-earned assets. However, long-term care can be covered completely or in part by long-term care insurance. Without long term care insurance, the financial burden of caring for you could fall on your family. Most long-term care insurance plans let you choose the amount of the coverage you want, as well as how and where you want to use your benefits. A comprehensive plan includes benefits for all levels of care, custodial to skilled.
Long-term care is not the type of care that you receive in the hospital or your doctor's office. It is not the medical care you need to get well from a sickness or an injury, and it isn't short-term rehabilitation from an accident or recuperation from surgery. Care can be received in a variety of settings, including your own home, assisted living facilities, adult day care centers or hospice facilities.